Cardiff failed to close the gap on the Sky Bet Championship play-off places after they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by QPR. Sean Morrison had a header well-saved while substitute Kenneth Zohore saw his late effort cleared off the line as the Bluebirds were left frustrated.
The goalless draw means they are still five points behind Sheffield Wednesday, who drew 1-1 at home to Ipswich on Saturday afternoon, for the final play-off spot but this was an opportunity missed. Anthony Pilkington marked his return from injury with an early booking for diving just moments after he was denied a shooting chance by Grant Hall, whose two mistakes almost allowed Cardiff to open the scoring.
He badly miscued what should have been a simple pass to defensive partner Clint Hill although Lex Immers failed to capitalise, and Pilkington then shrugged off Hall's touchline challenge but was not accurate enough to provide the final pass.
QPR also failed to build on either the good work of Matt Phillips or the passing of Massimo Luongo amid a goalless first-half. It was not until the second half that the game finally came to life. Lee Peltier was booked as Rangers again started the brighter though Phillips' delivery caused little problem for the Cardiff defence.
David Marshall was also barely troubled by long-range efforts from both Sebastian Polter and Phillips.Cardiff also struggled to test the visitors' goalkeeper Matt Ingram with Lex Immers twice lacking control in the penalty area. The Bluebirds' most likely source of a goal was from Peter Whittingham
His cross found Pilkington rushing unmarked into the box but his fierce header was narrowly wide of Ingram's right post on 55 minutes. Whittingham was again the provider for another chance when his 70th minute cross was met by Sean Morrison but his powerful header was directed straight at Ingram.
Tjaronn Chery led Rangers' counter-attack but again they lacked a finishing touch and striker Polter was swiftly replaced. Craig Noone steadily grew into the game but saw his long-range effort drift high over the crossbar.
His second burst down the right wing beat two defenders but Pilkington's effort from 15 yards was blocked by QPR captain Nedum Onuoha. Cardiff substitutes Sammy Ameobi and Zohore almost combined before Pilkington's claims for a penalty were waved away by referee Stephen Martin after he was bundled over as he lined up to fire in the rebound. More chances followed in injury-time but Cardiff were repeatedly denied.
First Zohore latched onto Scott Malone's pass. His effort slipped under Ingram but was cleared off the line.Ameobi then blazed his follow-up effort over the bar before Morrison failed to direct his header on target from Aron Gunnarsson's corner.